I Thought He Came With You is Robert Ellison’s blog about software, marketing, politics, photography and time lapse.

Bay Model Tide 360 Timelapse

Bay Model in Sausalito CA

The Bay Model in Sausalito is a two-football field sized working model of the San Francisco Bay and Sacramento - San Joaquin River Delta. Here's a 360 degree timelapse of the model in action so you can see the tide coming in and out (best in a VR headset but you can pan around as well):

Shot on a Ricoh Theta S and post-processed in LRTimelapse and Adobe Lightroom.

June Gloom

Gloomy cloud over the French Chateau Sanatorium

A relatively pleasant Sunday in San Francisco, which means the second you turn your back fog and low cloud are going to swoop in:

The first part of the video is looking west toward the ocean. Once any trace of blue is obliterated we turn south to see fog rolling over San Pedro Mountain near Pacifica and increasingly gloomy cloud cover over the French Chateau Sanatorium (which I think of as the West Portal Retirement Castle). This is a deeply strange building, nestled in a hollow and surrounded by trees. Most of the time you don't see it and then suddenly, on the right street at the right angle you're startled to realize that there is a massive chateau hiding in the neighborhood.

If you're in the mood for more West Portal oriented time lapse enjoy: West of West PortalWest Portal Mosaic TimelapseWest Portal Timelapse of Timelapses and Spherical Sunset.

Book reviews for June 2018

What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics by Adam  Becker

What Is Real?: The Unfinished Quest for the Meaning of Quantum Physics by Adam Becker

5/5

Spoiler alert: we still don't know. Excellent review of the history of quantum mechanics and how we should think about science.

 

Be Slightly Evil: A Playbook for Sociopaths (Ribbonfarm Roughs) by Venkatesh G. Rao

Be Slightly Evil: A Playbook for Sociopaths (Ribbonfarm Roughs) by Venkatesh G. Rao

3/5

 

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk

3/5

 

Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover

Animation of a year of Global Cloud Cover

Here's an animation showing a year of global cloud cover (from July 2017 to July 2018) :

The clouds are sourced from the free daily download at xplanet. I run a Google apps script that saves a copy of the image to Google Drive every day (basically the same as this script to save Nest cam images). The hard part was waiting a year to get enough frames. Xplanet combines GEOS, METEOSAT and GMS satellite imagery with some reflection near the poles. Although I didn't need to for this project note that you can subscribe to higher quality / more frequent downloads.

As well as the clouds you can also see the terminator between day and night change shape over the course of the year. This video starts and ends with the Summer equinox when days are longest in the Northern hemisphere.

Where it's nighttime the image is based on NASA's Black Marble. The daytime is based on Blue Marble, but blended with a different older image which has better ocean colors and interpolated daily between twelve monthly Blue Marble satellite images. The result of this is that you can see snow and ice coverage changing over the course of the year. If you look closely you'll also notice vegetation growing and dying back with the seasons.

Rendered in a slightly modified build of Catfood Earth (the main release doesn't know how to access my private cache of xplanet cloud images). As well as combining day, night and cloud images Catfood Earth can also show you earthquakes, volcanoes, US weather radar, political borders, places and time zones. It has been enlivening Windows desktop wallpaper for fifteen years now (as shareware back when that was a thing, these days it's a free download for Windows and Android).

Summer Solstice 2018

Summer Solstice 2018 rendered in Catfood Earth

Summer starts now in the Northern Hemisphere and the Sun is at its highest point in the sky. For those in the Southern Hemisphere I'm sorry to report that the opposite is true. Rendered in Catfood Earth.

(Previously, Previously, Previously, Previously, Previously)

Reading list pro tip...

If you're going to read Bullshit Jobs by David Graeber don't decide to follow that up with Adjustment Day by Chuck Palahniuk.

Book reviews for May 2018

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber

5/5

I'm not entirely sure if this is a bullshit book or not, but it was brilliantly written and provocative (and largely persuasive).

 

Radiant Angel (John Corey, #7) by Nelson DeMille

Radiant Angel (John Corey, #7) by Nelson DeMille

3/5

 

The Panther  (John Corey, #6) by Nelson DeMille

The Panther (John Corey, #6) by Nelson DeMille

3/5

 

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

Time Travel: A History by James Gleick

3/5

Having read (and loved) The Information I was expecting something similar. Time Travel is far more of a literary review than a popular science book. It touches on relativity and quantum physics but not in any great depth and spends far more time dissecting H. G. Wells.

 

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

Everybody Writes: Your Go-To Guide to Creating Ridiculously Good Content by Ann Handley

3/5

 

Moon

Moon

Tag: random, photo, moon

How not to fix Democracy

In The Guardian Dambisa Moyo proposes a test to improve the quality of the electorate:

"...why not give all voters a test of their knowledge? This would ensure minimum standards that should lead to higher-quality decision-making by the electorate."

However:

"Of course, such a system would be truly democratic only if everybody had a fair chance of casting their vote. It is vital that those with fewer life opportunities have their say, and we cannot have a system that is skewed against the worst educated..."

So the idea is a test of minimum standards that in some way is not biased against the worst educated? Or that we could only impose such a system once education has improved to the point where is is no longer needed?

Maybe we just need a test to improve the quality of Guardian opinion pieces.

What can I do for Brown?

For the service of telling UPS that I'm not in today and so they can save a whole bunch of time and money by not failing to deliver a package they want to charge me $5? This is UPS My Choice.